Banana Oat Blender Muffins
The easier it is to eat healthy, the healthier we are likely to eat. (How's that for a tongue twister?) Well, here's another strategy to simplify your quest for good nutrition - making muffins in your blender. No more separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients. No more lightly mixing the batter until it is 'just moistened'. Just throw the ingredients into your blender, blend, and pour. Toss your but-I-don't-like-baking excuse out the window and get mixing!
Here is a simple recipe from Jamie-Dee's collection at "All About You Fitness by Jamie-Dee, Food Ideas". It's gluten-free, high fibre, and packed with nutritious ingredients.
Can't see the image? Get the recipe here.
So, tell us... what's your favorite blender muffin recipe?
Fitness Matters loves following Jamie-Dee's regular posting of heathy snacks and meal ideas at her Facebook page, All About You Fitness with Jamie-Dee. Here are seven recent favorites...
1. Chocolate oatmeal no-bake bars
Seriously, two words: (1) chocolate; and (2) no-bake. Read the recipe here.
2. Perfect post-workout smoothie
This smoothie is packed with everything your body needs after a hefty workout - the perfect combination of carbohydrates and protein to replace your muscle glycogen stores. Also, Maca is a herb from Peru touted for its benefits with hormone imbalance, menstrual issues, increased energy and more. It has become one of those must-haves in your smoothie-making toolbox, and is easily found at any health food store.
3. Steel cut oats with superfood add-ins
Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with healthy breakfast items, and chances are you'll begin your day with a healthy breakfast! Steel cut oats are lower in calories, sugar and saturated fat than regular rolled oats. Check out this infographic from Prevention Magazine that compares the two.
4. Pink waffles
We featured these at our blog earlier this year. Read the recipe here. The pink color comes from crystallized beets, another pantry staple that can find its way into baking, smoothies, sauces, soups and stews.
5. Not sure what this is
Place a bunch of healthy things on the counter and let your kids come up with their bedtime snack! No recipe required. This strategy would work at breakfast as well, let kids be the creators of their own healthy whatever.
6. Not all smoothies have to be green
This smoothie is full of beta-carotene and vitamin C, important for healthy skin, eyes, and everything immunity. Pair your afternoon smoothie with some nuts, and you're set until dinnertime. Cashews are full of minerals, including magnesium, which can be tough to get into our diet.
7. Granola not from a store
Save money, save your body from unpronounceable ingredient lists, and feel good about your family's breakfast with this easy, oven-baked granola that will satisfy even the most suspicious healthy-eating critic. Read the recipe here.
So, tell us... what is your favorite snack, smoothie and/or breakfast idea? What superfood items are in your pantry and fridge?
These savory chicken, egg and vegetable muffins are anything but dessert. They are dense and tasty warm or cold, which is perfect for a lunch box or on-the-go. You only need one bowl and basic ingredients on hand to whip these up.
Add the following ingredients one at a time to a bowl, mixing after each addition.
So, tell us... what are your creative solutions for keeping bagged lunches interesting?
Eating breakfast is important.
What you choose eat is equally important. This breakfast smoothie is so nutrient dense that every one of your body systems will give you a high five, and you'll skedaddle out the door for whatever the day demands.
Assemble and blend the ingredients the night before, and your morning nutrition superstar will be there to greet you when your groggy-eyed self opens the refrigerator. You’ll savor this lovely fruit and vegetable combination that is jam-packed with antioxidants, fibre, and everything else a typical North American diet is lacking. Make sure to use a high-quality, uber-powerful blender for the smoothest – and therefore most palatable – consistency.
Plan ahead by having healthy ingredients on hand.
Put each of these ingredients in your blender or largest smoothie cup.
1. Peel and chop one seedless orange. You can experiment with ingredients with this smoothie, but don’t forego the orange. It’s juicy, full of vitamin C, and provides the necessary tang to shake out the cobwebs. Cara Cara navel oranges have unbeatable sweetness.
2. Shred one apple, peel included. See how easy it is to stick to the apple-a-day adage? You can peel and chop your apple instead, or 1/3 cup applesauce (preferably homemade) works well. If an apple doesn’t appeal to you, try a pear, sliced banana, or 1 cup chopped mango.
3. Peel and chop one-half cucumber. Yes, a cucumber. Definitely get rid of the cucumber peel, otherwise you’ll be picking it out of your teeth. Did you know that cucumbers are actually a fruit? They’re part of the melon family, in case that helps justify why you should add them to your beverages.
4. Add one cup of berries. Any type of berry will work, fresh or frozen – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc. Raspberries give your smoothie a gorgeous deep pink that will instantly make you happy.
5. Add one heaping tablespoon crystalized beets. You can find these at most health food stores, and they are a handy superfood to have on hand for additions to smoothies, baking, soups and more. Sometimes I will roast, puree and freeze beets in ice cube trays, so for this smoothie use one cube of frozen beet puree. Again, planning ahead is key.
6. Finally, add ½ cup carrot juice. I purchase 100% carrot juice from the supermarket produce section, or you certainly can juice your own. Fruit juice is an option, if you prefer to hide the cucumber and beet flavors.
Keep it simple
My kitchen is stocked with many superfood smoothie add-ins, such as flax, hemp, chia and matcha, but for this smoothie I prefer au natural, just the six servings of fruits and vegetables in all their glory. Six servings, and it's not yet 8 o'clock in the morning! This breakfast of champions solidifies your mindset for good nutrition with other snacks and meals throughout your day. Nevertheless, if you’re digging in your pantry for anything that resembles chocolate at three o’clock in the afternoon, check out our super-easy 3-ingredient raw chocolate recipe.
In my house, we love our breakfast foods, especially crepes and waffles! Hemp hearts, almond butter, maple syrup, Greek yogurt and other fun toppings are always on our breakfast table. Real whipped cream sweetened with vanilla and coconut sugar is a special treat. We fill our crepes and top our waffles with fresh and frozen (thawed) fruit. Sometimes we have a friendly competition to see who can create the most colorful crepe or waffle. Getting kids to aim for color is a great way to add more fruits and vegetables in every meal!
1 cup egg whites
½ cup almond milk
2 tbsp crystalized beets
¼ cup Complete Truth Protein Powder
½ cup Only Oats Pancake Mix (gluten free)
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Heat frying pan or crepe pan over medium-low heat. Spray pan with coconut oil. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan. Lift and swirl to distribute batter so that it thinly covers the pan’s bottom, then place the pan back onto the element. Wait until the crepe edges easily begin to pull away from the pan, and then use a large spatula to flip the crepe. The second side will only need a few moments to cook. Slide onto a plate and repeat the process until all batter is used.
Marshall Family Pink Waffles
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Amount of batter per waffle depends on your waffle iron.
Jamie-Dee Marshall is Fitness Matters’ healthy food expert. She and her family enjoy real vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats at every meal. Superfoods are a mainstay in her pantry and refrigerator. Eating healthy is quick, easy, affordable and requires only an enthusiasm for the wellbeing of yourself and your family.
So, tell us... what are the healthy items on your breakfast table?
You really can't get any more nutritious than this. Keep these bars in your freezer for a quick breakfast whenever you need it. They are REALLY good with peanut butter on top. Plus, they are gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and take only ONE BOWL to make!
Put each ingredient into a bowl one at a time, stirring between each addition (this is important!). Spread batter thinly in a greased 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 28-30 minutes. Let cool and cut into bars. Not all gluten-free flour mixes are the same. My favourite is Namaste Perfect Flour Blend, or perhaps you already make your own.
So, tell us... what's on your healthy & quick breakfast menu?
Really, is chocolate that healthy?
First, here’s the science background. Cacao beans are fruit from the Theobroma cacao tree. Each cacao bean is composed of cacao nibs and cacao butter. Raw cacao powder is simply ground cacao nibs. Although raw cacao powder and regular cocoa powder look exactly the same, they are completely different. Raw cacao power is unprocessed and is what makes some types of chocolate very healthy. This is the type of chocolate used in research studies touting its nutrition and health benefits. Cocoa powder, on the other hand, comes from cacao beans that have been roasted at high temperatures, which changes the molecular structure and removes many nutritional benefits.
Raw cacao powder is a true superfood. It is high in fibre, protein, and several essential minerals such as iron and magnesium. It also contains theobromine, a mild, non-addictive stimulant and mood enhancer. Raw cacao powder is also an antioxidant dynamo, containing a high amount of flavonoids for overall disease prevention and longevity. Research continues to demonstrate that a moderate amount (two ounces) of dark chocolate (made from raw cacao powder) everyday can heighten defenses against heart disease, elevated blood pressure, obesity, stress, type II diabetes, poor cognitive function, and even cancer.
3-Ingredient Raw Chocolate Recipe
First, create a double boiler set-up. Put a small amount of water into a pot and bring to a boil. Place a small stainless steel bowl in the pot. OR, use a glass bowl in the microwave instead of the double boiler.
Measure 1/3 cup of cacao butter into the bowl. Once melted, add 1/4 cup of your liquid sweetener. Then, stir in 1/2 cup of raw cacao powder and mix until smooth. Pour onto a small piece of parchment and place in your freezer until hard. Once you have mastered the basics, experiment with additional ingredients, such as sea salt, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts and seeds. You can search online for other raw chocolate recipes and inspirations.
Primary reference used to create this article is “Chococlate/cocoa and human health: a review.” Latif, R. Neth J Med. 2013 Mar;71(2):63-8. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23462053] Accessed February 2015.
Dry ingredients - blend into a medium bowl:
Wet ingredients - mix well in a small bowl:
Mix wet into dry. Then mix in 1/2 c. chocolate chips (dairy and gluten free). Roll into balls and flatten on baking sheet (parchment paper). Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes.
**I rinse, cook and puree my beans beforehand. I freeze portions of the bean puree in an ice cube tray and thaw as needed.
Notes: Don't reduce the sugar; I already have. Don't reduce the coconut oil either - it's good for you. Enjoy!
Thoroughly mix the peanut butter, honey, spirulina, and cocoa until smooth. Add and mix remaining ingredients. Form into 1-inch balls (about two bites each). You may need to add a bit more peanut butter or honey to make the mixture sticky enough. Refrigerate or freeze.
Thanks for stopping by!
We are Anita Parker & Jamie-Dee Marshall - busy moms, fitness trainers, and founders of Fitness Matters.